The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Heating Ideas for Every Space
To get the most joy from our garden and patio space, we must see it as an extension of our home. When we stop believing the outside is only for a few weeks in summer, we discover a whole world of opportunities to expand our living space and truly enjoy our time outside.
Outdoor heating is a pivotal part of extending the time we spend in our gardens, from long summer nights to crisp and fresh autumnal mornings. The good news is, we can explore outdoor heating ideas no matter the size of our space.
With beautiful choices reflecting our personal interior design tastes, we can create outdoor spaces we love to spend time in for cosy solitude, dining, and fun-filled entertaining.
Below, we explore 15 outdoor heating ideas to work for various spaces and needs. By looking at our garden or patio with fresh eyes we can see new and exciting possibilities, and enjoy days and nights in our newly designed spaces for years to come.
1. Create New Traditions around the Fire Pit
Every heart-warming tradition begins with a first. Being intentional about how we spend family time and marking special times without the couch and TV can allow for years of fun bonding times you will be glad you didn’t miss.
When you make sitting by a fire in the fresh outdoor air a tradition for bank holidays, birthdays, and any other event, you will wonder how you ever got on without it.
2. Tabletop Lanterns for Romantic Date Nights
Traditionally, dinner by candlelight was the go-to option to capture a romantic ambience, but during colder seasons they won’t quite do the trick for al fresco dining dates. Fortunately, this no longer spells the end of dates under the stars when the temperature drops.
Tabletop lanterns provide gentle light, beautiful flame effects, and radiate warmth to open up your outside dining options throughout the year. You can also maximise peace and quiet in your garden for fun and romantic date nights by using some privacy-enhancing garden screening ideas.
3. Add a Masonry BBQ for Grilling and Fireplace Flexibility
Enjoy outdoor heat, smells, and delicious tastes by adding a traditional masonry barbecue to your garden space. With a tall and stable structure, this BBQ gives you choice and flexibility for choosing charcoal or wood options to cook and heat with. Perfect for marshmallow roasting and long laughter-filled evenings staring into the hypnotic wood-burning flames.
4. Create a Year-Round Gathering Space
Coming together to gather around a fire is as old as humanity as we know it. For generations, we bonded with families and strangers to laugh, eat, and talk by the open flames. We may not have the inclination or permission to create old-fashioned fires in the garden anymore, but we can keep the spirit and practice alive.
Modern fire pits and convenient fire pit dining sets, combined with comfortable couches and lounging sets, allow us to create flames and ambience in an instant. With a vast array of stylish garden furniture ideas, you can create your ideal space to enjoy year-round with the ones you love.
Gathering outside feels different, and coming together to watch the beautiful flicker of real flame relaxes our minds and connects us together. Create a beautiful beacon for your friends and loved ones with a garden gathering space for year-round enjoyment.
5. Sleek Patio Heaters for Minimalist Design
If you like to keep your style elegant and minimalist in design, these new innovations in patio heater technology are perfect for transforming your garden.
The best and most visually appealing outdoor heaters are no longer clunky, huge, or difficult to use, and lend an air of resort-style living to your garden space.
Choosing to incorporate minimalist-style patio heaters can make the most of your space, whatever its size. Slim but powerful heaters preserve the view of your garden, letting you sit and enjoy your own slice of nature without sacrificing the design elements of your space.
6. Keep the Heat with a Pergola
With protection from the weather, but open for a ventilating breeze, pergolas provide the perfect seating space for relaxing, dining, or working outside while retaining heat from your fire pit table or pergola heater.
A sturdy structure that feels like an extra room, adding a pergola maximises the time you can enjoy your patio space outdoors, extending your living areas with a natural and flowing design. Bad weather simply turns this elegant option into a relaxing space under which to enjoy the hypnotic sounds of rainfall.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, take a look at our article that discusses modern pergola ideas.
7. Use Trees Strategically When Planning Your Space
Not only does it feel wonderful to sit around in the beauty of nature, but it can provide some strategic advantages when planning your outdoor living space.
In the summer months, trees create shade for cooler, more comfortable seating outside, away from the more intense heat of the sun. But in cooler seasons, the air underneath trees stays slightly warmer, and they provide some protection from chilly winds and warmer air escaping.
Paired with an outdoor shade solution and heating or fire pit options, you can provide your new garden accessories with help from nature, using your tree canopy to your advantage.
8. Bring the Pizza, Bring the Heat
This two-for-one delicious outdoor heating solution is always a crowd-pleaser. Introducing pizza night to your al fresco dining experience brings hours of entertainment as people swoon over their choice of toppings, and warms the area in the process.
Entertaining the simple way, trade hours of cooking for more social and family time as everyone enjoys this traditional throwback to Italian-style cooking. With a range of options from tabletop simplicity to wood-burning outdoor pizza ovens, there is a perfect solution for every garden.
9. Create a Quiet, Cosy Space
Enjoying some solitary quiet time in the garden is one of life's biggest joys. Whether you love to listen to harmonious birdsong or delight in diving into a good book, patio heaters extend the months you can enjoy your garden to the fullest.
You can achieve a relaxing and cosy set-up whether your garden is big or small.
Upright outdoor heaters have small footprints with little space needed for your secluded spot. By using comfortable garden furniture with all-weather fabric, you can enjoy relaxing outside me-time for years to come.
10. Bring Art Deco Style to your Outdoor Space
Your garden is an extension of your home, and your style personality doesn’t have to stop at the back door. Choosing design features to fit your taste is vital when choosing your outdoor heating solutions to create a comfortable and stylish space that reflects you.
By using circular shapes and curves alongside striking geometric lines, Art Deco stylings bring elegance to your space. Reminiscent of old-world Paris and Miami’s trendy South Beach Art Deco-inspired pieces can bring an air of bygone luxury to your choice of fire pit table.
Mixing glass, metals, and wood fire pit and dining materials allows you to blend classic styles, for looks that appear glamorous, yet rustic.
11. Change Your Perspective
Sometimes, we think our space won’t work well for outdoor heating, lighting, or cooking. Maybe your patio is on the smaller side or you are working around small children and assume designing the space will be too complex.
In most cases, we can introduce some wonderful elements into our garden - whatever we work with. We just have to look at our space from all angles. When we don’t have much patio space or need to keep items off the floor, we can use hanging lights and mounted outdoor heating solutions. Seeing our space in 3D with a different perspective can open up outdoor living space ideas that we hadn’t considered before.
12. Al Fresco Dining, Year-Round
So many of us wait until we are on holiday to enjoy the delights of open-air dining. We often love it so much that we will eat three meals a day outside when we are away from home.
With new garden heating options including patio heaters, pergola heaters, and free-standing fire pit bar sets, there is no reason not to enjoy our meals outside year-round.
With elegantly styled fire pit table options, we can enjoy the crisp morning air with our coffee, or outdoor dinners with friends, without feeling the chill on colder days. We don’t need to wait for hot days or foreign holidays to bring more of what we love into our lives.
13. Form and function
By choosing beautifully designed items from the vast amount of fire pit and outdoor heating options available, we not only get practical solutions for our outdoor space, but it feels like a true extension of our space.
Wooden and glass pillar lanterns create a sleek, yet rustic look for relaxing evenings by firelight. Other finely designed fire pits, lanterns, and gas patio heaters can work anywhere in your garden as they do not require a power outlet to function. These portable options open up our whole garden for use, suddenly making that forgotten corner in the garden a potential perfect spot for a cosy firelit nook.
14. Utilise Walls in Smaller Spaces
When your carefully mapped out garden space looks great with your ideal dining set or comfortable seating, but there just isn’t room for a freestanding heating unit, you don’t have to give up al fresco dining and relaxing until the summer.
Utilising a wall for outdoor heating solutions, lighting, or décor instantly opens up possibilities for improving your space and using it for many more months of the year. Walls often have closer access to electrical points, and when combined with a pergola can feel like an extension of your home’s living space.
15. Heat your Garden for the Perfect Meditation Spot
Centering yourself with meditation, yoga, deep thought, or prayer can feel even more profound when closer to nature. By adding outdoor heating and lighting options to your garden, you can relax outside at the break of dawn, at a crisp midday, or under the midnight moon.
We can add gentle and relaxing lighting to a space with warming lanterns, or LED-lit parasols, providing protection from the elements and creating a perfect cover for your personal space. Finding true quiet and calm in the house can sometimes be a challenge, so why not invite your garden to be a part of your important self-care?
Discover the Magic of Outdoor Heating
Heating your garden opens it up as an all-season option. When we treat our outside space like a room of our home by investing in heating, lighting, and quality furniture options, we look at it with fresh eyes.
When we spend more time in the garden, either alone, or bonding with others, we enjoy fresh air, proximity to nature, and a feeling of freedom we only get when we have access to the open skies.
At Harbour Lifestyle, our range of refined outdoor furniture and accessories helps you to design the perfect garden space to express your style while keeping you comfortable, warm, and loving al fresco life.